The universe of Omar Khayyam

A literary-musical-sensual exploration in several stations
conceived and accompanied by Nadja Kayali

Sa 18.7.2020 / 19:30 Uhr
Station concerts at different venues in Villach
Golnar Shahyar, vocals
Basma Jabr, vocals
Orwa Saleh, oud
Mahan Mirarab, guitar
Judith Ferstl, keyboard
Sebastian Simsa, drums
Jerilyn Chou, soprano
Eva Maria Riedl-Buschan, mezzo-soprano
Rainer Trost, tenor
Martin Vácha, bariton
Nina Violetta Aichner, piano
Paul Sonderegger, reading
Nadja Kayali, moderation & reading
Kulturverein ,,Slam if you can!“:
Birgit Hlavka, Trisha Radda & Felix Erlach
The Caravan of Life shall always pass
Beware that is fresh as sweet young grass
Let’s not worry about what tomorrow will amass
Fill my cup again, this night will pass, alas.

Omar Khayyam
Carpe diem! This was the essence that could be gleaned from the poems of the Persian poet Omar Khayyam (1048–1131). In fact, the poet born in Nischapur, in today’s Iran, writes mainly quatrains, the so-called Rubayyat. But poetry was not his main source of employment: he had otherwise become famous as a mathematician and astronomer in the oriental world. The calendar still in use in Iran today is based on Omar Khayyam and the calculations from his observatory.
Omar Khayyam lived in a time of uncertainty and upheaval, and his poetry counteracts this with a lust for life which continues to inspire later generations. His quatrains contain much wisdom, which still moves listeners and inspires discussion today. The Franco-Lebanese writer, Amin Maalouf, and his Bosnian-Austrian colleague, Dževad Karahasan, have each dedicated a separate work to the poet and intellectual. Music, namely the performance of the Rubayyat by legendary Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum, is the subject of the third novel written by Egyptian Selim Nassib.
Paul Sonderegger will enact the three novels in reading; his performance tonally underscored by Persian and Arabic music.
The half-hour concerts with Golnar Shahyar, Orwa Saleh and Basma Jabr, Persian and Arab musicians living in Austria, are broad and associative, in the spirit of Omar Khayyam’s world view and thoughts. At the same time, Khayyam’s verses will be set to music by European composers such as Friedrich Cerha, Boris Blacher and the Austrian premiere of In a Persian garden by English composer Liza Lehmann with the vocal quartet.
Vienna-based singer Basma Jabr and Syrian oud player and composer Orwa Saleh, who left Damascus in 2012, will both also perform together in Christian Muthspiel’s Orjazztra project on 24 July at the Villach Brewery.

The concerts take place a short distance apart and the audience can visit further stations – such as a slam poetry reading.

Free entrance to the “station performances” in public spaces. Tickets are available at the ticket office and at the box office for the final concert with the Orwa Saleh Band, Basma Jabr and Golnar Shahyar at 19:30 in the Bambergsaal Villach.

A detailed schedule can be found on our website from April.

ticket prices: € 43 / 16* (free seating)
payment methods: Visa, MasterCard, Diners, American Express, Sofort Überweisung
reductions and conditions

*Pupils & students